Sunday, October 14, 2007

Twentieth anniversary of 'great storm' of 1987; science backs the Green case

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Oct 16th is the twentieth anniversary of the 'great storm' of 1987. I'm sure there will be some focus on this in the Bristol/regional media in the coming days- Countryfile reported on it today and has some interesting links on its website. This storm may have happened even if climate change was not happening at all of course, but it certainly fits the predicted pattern of more weather extremes caused by the climate change we have caused. Its an event particularly marked in my mind especially because I'd just stood for the first time (age 25 yrs !!) in a general election, campaigning to cut pollution levels harming our climate, amongst other things.

Ewen McCallum, Chief Meterologist at the Met Office has said that only “flat-Earthers” refused to believe that the world was in the grip of climate change and that global warming would mean more stormy weather. This is very interesting statement, indicating that science backs the Green case (which has always been my view), when in the past Greens have themselves been accused of being anti-science and technology. This accusation was always something I found both odd and not entirely fair, especially as a Green with science degrees and a higher degree, as well as a science teaching qualification, 20 yrs science teaching experience and 6yrs experience of working in laboratories in industry!

Green solutions: better for individuals, communities and the globe.

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Schumacher UK say it exists to challenge corporate power and economic globalisation to the detriment of local democratic self-determination, ecosystems, economies and communities. I agree with this aim - coporate power and economic globalisation have to be challenged successfully in order to improve to quality of individual lives, community wellbeing and global sustainability.

They describe the Bristol Schumacher Lectures as ‘Britain’s premier environmental gathering’. They have been taking place for some time here (29 yrs this yr) and do have a pretty impressive list of past speakers, including for example Jonathon Porritt, currently Chair of the Sustainable Development Commission, advising the Government, and George Monbiot, Guardian journalist, author, academic and activist.

This weekend’s event saw lectures from: Mark Lynas; Dr Vala Ragnarsdottir; Nicky Gavron; and Herbert Giradet. The points made by Mark Lynas are particularly strong. I agree with him that ‘changing our carbon-addicted lifestyles would actually be better for ourselves, as well as the planet’.